Eating outside might hinder your job performance

Love eating lunch outside the office? This might give you a feeling of relaxation for some time, but it will surely hinder your job performance, as suggested by a new research.

Scientists at Humboldt University in Berlin state that eating at a restaurant with companions reduces ‘cognitive control and error monitoring’, whereas the workers, who munched alone at their desk, showed no such adverse effects.

The study that is published in the journal PLOS ONE noticed participants who ate alone at their desk and those who walked into an eating joint to lunch with a friend. Both the groups consumed exactly the same meal but the desk eaters had their food under a particular time limit.

The study stated that a mood rating questionnaire showed ‘a relaxation effect of the restaurant as compared to the plain meal situation’.

Study also found that after the meal, those who munched at a restaurant were lazier and sleepier, whereas those who ate alone at their desks were much normal and energetic. The restaurant eaters also showed ‘reduced cognitive control’ compared to the desk eaters.

The researchers said that it was impossible to keep a note of the impact of each variable in the study, such as the social context (alone vs. with a friend), availability of time (limited vs. plenty) and environment (small office vs. spacious restaurant).

The researchers further added that accountants and scientists who eat out at restaurants might notice their work performance decline but artists may actually see benefits.

“Reduced cognitive control is a disadvantage when close self-monitoring of performance and detailed attention to errors is required, such as in laboratory and factory work or numerical processing,” they mentioned. “In other situations, an attenuation of cognitive control may be advantageous, such as when social harmony or creativity is desired.”

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